Final Summer Blog Post: Natalie Curtis and Beyond

This summer was eye-0pening for me in an array of different ways. Not only did I have the opportunity to do my own independent research, which I’m immensely grateful for, but I also jumped far out of my comfort zone through the process of the research. Using the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian Research Center for Cultural Folklife I was able to really narrow in on a more relevant and specific Honors Thesis topic, the study of the impact of female ethnographers/ethnomusicologists on ┬áNative American Healing and Ceremonial Music.

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Further Research on Natalie Curtis: Family Influences

After looking through some of the questions on my last post, I thought I would look deeper into Natalie Burlin’s familial background. As aforementioned, she was born into an affluent family in New York City during the late 19th century. Interestingly enough, Theodore Roosevelt was a family friend of the Burlins. In fact, when she ran into some regulatory issues┬áin an attempt to research the communities at the Hopi Reservation, Roosevelt pulled some strings so that she could continue her work.

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Natalie Curtis Burlin: A Controversial Legacy

 

 

natalie curtis burlin

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Native American Healing Music Update: The Role of Women

My research has led me to explore the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. I’ve listened to most of the available recorded music that they have from Folkway Festivals and ethnographer field work. While listening to this music and looking through field notes, I began to note a pattern in Native American Healing and Ceremonial Music. Much of the music that is available consists of male vocalists and instrumentalists. However, the more late the date of the recording, say the 1990’s versus the 1920’s, the more female vocalists are featured within the repertoire. After noticing this phenomenon I also happened upon an article published by the Smithsonian that focused on the ways in which women have been largely ignored over history in the recording and research of Native American Music. This concept is interesting to me, as I am someone who is quite supportive of women’s empowerment and advancement, so I want to follow this pattern of information and see where it takes me in regards to learning about how and why Native American women have gained more ground in music in the recent years.

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Native American Healing Music Abstract

Hello everyone! My name is Lauren Hoak and I am a rising senior at the College. I am a Psychology and Music double major. This summer I will be conducting research for my Honors Thesis on the Role of Native American Healing Music across tribes. I am grateful to the Charles Center for gifting me with the resources to make my research possible.

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